Harald Wolf, Sophie Frantal, Gholam S. Pajenda, Olivia Salameh, Harald Widhalm, Stefan Hajdu and Kambiz Sarahrudi
The role of the neuromarkers S100B protein and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) in minor head injury is well established. Moreover, there are sensitive decision rules available in the literature to identify clinically important brain lesions. However, it is not clear if using the biomarkers has an influence on the predictability of the decision rule. The purpose of this study was to determine if a set of preclinical and clinical parameters combined with 2 neuromarker levels could serve as reliable guidance for accurate diagnosis.
Prospective evaluation of a cohort of head trauma patients with Glasgow Coma Scale scores of 13–15 was performed at an academic, Level I trauma center. Blood samples and cranial CT studies were obtained for all patients within 3 hours after injury. The hypothesis of the study was whether the combination of an increase of S100B and NSE levels in serum and other defined risk factors are associated with a pathological finding on CT. A forward stepwise logistic regression model was used.
The study included 107 head trauma patients with a mean age of 59 ± 23 years. Twenty-five patients (23.4%) had traumatic lesions on CT. Eight patients underwent craniotomy. The analysis provided a model with good overall accuracy for discriminating cases with clinically important brain injury, including the 6 variables of S100B, NSE, nausea, amnesia, vomiting, and loss of consciousness. The area under the curve (AUC) was 0.88 (0.83–0.93). The receiver operating characteristic curve plots detecting clinically important brain injury for the single variables of S100B and NSE showed an AUC of 0.63 and 0.64, respectively.
The integration of the neuromarker panel as part of a diagnostic rule including the high-risk factors of nausea, vomiting, amnesia, and loss of consciousness is safe and reliable in determining a diagnosis, pending the availability of more brain-specific neuromarkers. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00622778 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
Harald Wolf, Wolfgang Machold, Sophie Frantal, Mathias Kecht, Gholam Pajenda, Johannes Leitgeb, Harald Widhalm, Stefan Hajdu and Kambiz Sarahrudi
This study presents newly defined risk factors for detecting clinically important brain injury requiring neurosurgical intervention and intensive care, and compares it with the Canadian CT Head Rule (CCHR).
This prospective cohort study was conducted in a single Austrian Level-I trauma center and enrolled a consecutive sample of mildly head-injured adults who presented to the emergency department with witnessed loss of consciousness, disorientation, or amnesia, and a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 13–15. The studied population consisted of a large number of elderly patients living in Vienna. The aim of the study was to investigate risk factors that help to predict the need for immediate cranial CT in patients with mild head trauma.
Among the 12,786 enrolled patients, 1307 received a cranial CT scan. Four hundred eighty-nine patients (37.4%) with a mean age of 63.9 ± 22.8 years had evidence of an acute traumatic intracranial lesion on CT. Three patients (< 0.1%) were admitted to the intensive care unit for neurological observation and received oropharyngeal intubation. Seventeen patients (0.1%) underwent neurosurgical intervention. In 818 patients (62.6%), no evidence of an acute trauma-related lesion was found on CT. Data analysis showed that the presence of at least 1 of the following factors can predict the necessity of cranial CT: amnesia, GCS score, age > 65 years, loss of consciousness, nausea or vomiting, hypocoagulation, dementia or a history of ischemic stroke, anisocoria, skull fracture, and development of a focal neurological deficit. Patients requiring neurosurgical intervention were detected with a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 67% by using the authors' analysis. In contrast, the use of the CCHR in these patients detected the need for neurosurgical intervention with a sensitivity of only 80% and a specificity of 72%.
The use of the suggested parameters proved to be superior in the detection of high-risk patients who sustained a mild head trauma compared with the CCHR rules. Further validation of these results in a multicenter setting is needed. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00451789 (ClinicalTrials.gov.)